Countermeasure to ALPR/ ANPR Automatic License Plate Recognition Systems
(ALPR) Automatic license plate recognition systems (often referred to ANPR automatic number plate recognition systems outside of the North America) is a mass surveillance technology designed to identify owners of vehicles by computer using optical character recognition (OCR).
These ANPR/ALPR systems originated nearly four decades ago in England. As the technology has become more portable and less costly (although relative to other forms of "traffic" enforcement are still quite pricey at about $20,000 USD per system), these systems are currently being deployed throughout cities in North America. Like other forms of automated photo enforcement and red-light camera use, the rate of their proliferation is outstripping the rate of privacy laws to limit their use on Constitutional grounds.
Systems being produced like the ELSAG MPH-900 have the capability of scanning hundreds of license plates every minute. Beyond merely number plate recognition, these systems query multiple databases including driving records, tax collection, criminal databases, and other information not publicly disclosed. These systems can be used by both private and public entities and the potential for privacy invasion is extremely high.
Such systems have been used to track movements of millions of law-abiding motorists as well as gathering places of large groups of people--like those who attend gun-shows or political rally’s.
As the technology has evolved, these systems are transitioning to infrared (IR) imaging. Today's license plates are often designed to specifically reflect IR light in the near-infrared spectrum. Since these systems operate in the IR spectrum of light, they're use is undetectable and invisible to the naked eye. and can be used discretely in the darkness of the night.
Fortunately the countermeasure industry and those concerned about taking back our privacy rights have devised several solutions to this growing threat to our civil liberties.
Veil Corporation has engineered and patented a countermeasure product called Veil G5 that is an infrared absorbing coating designed to be applied to license plates and license plate covers which absorbs the light used by these systems. License plates which are treated will appear very dark to the ALPR's imaging components making optical character recognition much more difficult to do since these systems need sufficient contrast between the numbers and letters and the rest of the plate. (see picture provided).
Beyond enhancing your anonymity to these privacy invading systems, Veil G5 has the added bonus of protecting from the use of police laser traffic speed enforcement. Police laser operates in the same spectrum of light that ALRP systems do. Veil G5 is the only countermeasure of its kind and the fact theit retails for less than $100.00, makes it the most cost effective multi-use countermeasure available.
Before we talk about police laser detectors and which laser detectors are the best at protecting you, it’s important to know what exactly police laser is, how it’s different from radar, and why it’s so difficult to detect.
For nearly four decades, traffic enforcement departments have used radar to enforce speed limits. For nearly the same amount of time, drivers have had at their disposal, small electronic devices called radar detectors that have been able to detect the use of police radar.
The purpose of a radar detector is to provide advanced warnings to drivers to the use of police radar and their use has protected tens of thousands of motorists from potential speeding tickets. Police radar does have its limitations, however, and the enforcement industry responded by introducing a then new form of traffic enforcement technology called police laser or police lidar. Unlike police radar, police laser utilizes a highly focused beam of infrared (IR) light that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Police laser is much harder to detect than police radar. Officers aim police laser guns at vehicles, very much like snipers aim rifles. Unlike police radar, police laser can successfully measure the speeds of vehicles many thousands of feet away, long before a driver may be able to spot the police laser operator.
For a time there were no ways to detect police laser, as detectors had been designed to only detector police radar. Fortunately, the radar detector manufacturers responded and today every radar detector sold also has laser detection built-into them.
However, that’s not the end of the story. The nature of police laser is that when your radar/laser detector alerts to laser, you are already being targeted and your speed being measured. Speed readings can be taken in a fraction of a second so by the time you can react, your speed has often already been determined and if you were speeding, you will likely be pulled over and cited. In other words, radar/laser detectors are essentially ticket notifiers.
Therefore a driver needs to not only own a good laser detector, but needs to supplement the laser detector with something that can help afford him or her additional reaction time to safely slow down (if one happened to be driving above the posted speed limit).
First, it’s important to own a radar detector that offers superior laser detection abilities as not all laser detectors are created equally. Today the best windshield-mounted laser detectors we have tested include:
- Valentine 1
- Escort Redline
- Escort 8500 X50
- Escort Passport
- Whistler CR90/CR85
- Cobra SPX-7800BT and Cobra DSP 9200 BT
- Beltronics STi-R Plus
Second, it is essential that drivers have an additional layer of protection as well. To work effectively, police laser requires it’s light beams to be reflected back to the gun and the most reflective objects of any vehicle including motorcycles are the headlights, foglights, directional indicators, and license plates.
Veil G5 is an engineered and patented police laser countermeasure that absorbs the infrared light that police laser uses (much like sunglasses and sunscreen absorbs UV light).
While no countermeasure is full-proof, by reducing the reflections of police laser, drivers can effectively rely on their laser detector to alert to its use while Veil G5 absorbs the police laser to afford them additional reaction time to safely slow down and an ultimately avoid speeding tickets.
Every driver using a laser/radar detector should pair it with Veil. Veil turns a laser detector from a ticket notifier, into a ticket preventer.